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City of Nelson rolls out E-bike Program to residents

The program will provide low interest financing for Nelson homeowners who would like to purchase a commuter bike including electric bikes, do-it-yourself conversion kits and non-electric bikes with the loan applied monthly on the homeowner’s Nelson Hydro electric bill and repaid over the term of the loan. — Submitted photo

In a media release Wednesday, the City of Nelson said on June 1, 2020, Council approved the roll out of a city-wide E-bike Program for residents with the goal of promoting active transportation, community wellbeing and reducing GHG emissions.

The City of Nelson said the program will provide low interest financing for Nelson homeowners who would like to purchase a commuter bike including electric bikes, do-it-yourself conversion kits and non-electric bikes with the loan applied monthly on the homeowner’s Nelson Hydro electric bill and repaid over the term of the loan.

The City said the maximum loan amount will be $8,000 per household, which can support the purchase of more than one bike. Participants will be able to choose an amortization period of two or five years, with an interest rate of 3.5% (subject to change each year).

“Council is pleased with the development of this new e-bike program and we hope it provides the incentive and tools folks need to be able to purchase a commuter bike,” said Nelson Mayor Dooley in the media release. 

“By increasing the use of bikes in Nelson, we can reduce carbon emissions and pollution in our community. There is also increased benefits to having fewer vehicles on the road and more parking capacity downtown for visitors and retail customers.”

The City said the program will be available to City of Nelson residents who own their own home. Program participants are encouraged to purchase locally and support the Nelson economy.

The program provides an affordable option for making the transition to active transportation. Users may see added benefits of more time outdoors and increased fitness levels.

The City said there are some administrative steps that must be done before the E-Bike Program is officially in place. It is anticipated that this will be completed by mid to late July.  Once the bylaw is adopted, Nelson residents can go online and apply for financing.

The application process will include a short survey to collect information on the program.  In the interim we encourage you to go visit our local bike shops, do your research and be ready to participate in this exciting new initiative.  

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The E-Bike program aligns with the Province’s active transportation strategy titled “Move. Commute. Connect.”, that aims to build a cleaner greener future for all British Columbians by:

  • Doubling the percentage of trips taken with active transportation by 2030.
  • Providing incentives that encourage safe active transportation for all ages and abilities.
  • Helping communities build integrated and accessible active transportation systems.
  • Working with communities to create policies and plans that enable and support complete active transportation networks.


The City said Nelson Hydro, the City’s electric utility, has been delivering EcoSave since 2012, which helps customers to reduce their energy consumption and GHG emissions. The program encourages Nelson Hydro customers to have home energy evaluations to determine what energy efficiency upgrades (retrofits) can be done.

The program offers a loan of up to $16,000 that is repaid using the Nelson Hydro electric bill, this is on-bill financing, and will be expanded to include bikes.

Since 2019, the EcoSave program expanded into the region in partnership with the RDCK and is now operating as the Regional Energy Efficiency Program, please visit www.rdck.ca/reep to learn more.